Thanks to blog reader Kim Moldofsky for sending this one in... A parent of a highly gifted 3-year-old wrote in to John Rosemond, a McClatchy Newspapers advice columnist, about how to deal with the daughter's lack of respect for adult authority. Now, the 3-year-old was definitely getting away with some bad behavior (such as telling her grandmother that she was the boss of the house). But reading the response, boy, does Rosemond have a chip on his shoulder about something.
You can read the exchange here. Sample quotes include:
*"You're not going to make any progress with this child as long as you think you're dealing with some unique being that represents a quantum evolutionary leap for all of humanity."
*"She is rapidly turning into a 3-year-old insufferable brat, and no one is more insufferable than an insufferable genius."
*"Stop treating her like she's an adult! Take her to a restaurant, and before you go in, let her know that you are doing the ordering, not her. If she doesn't like it, take her home and serve her beans and franks. Stop letting her make decisions that you would not be letting her make if her IQ was 100. Pick out her clothes for her in the morning, and don't let her come out of her room until she has put on what you picked out."
*"In every situation with her, ask yourself, "How would I handle this if my daughter was a normal, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety 3-year-old?" Then treat her that way, and if she doesn't like it, send her to her room until she's willing to accept her new reality."
I'm curious how the parents of precocious young kids who read this blog have managed to keep their children in check without keeping them from making all decisions on things like clothes. I thought raising self-reliant children was a good thing... But even more, I think Rosemond doesn't recognize that there are certain discipline issues that arise when a child's brain is older than her body. Simply berating parents for acknowledging this doesn't help. How have you dealt with this?